C. Boyden Gray

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

C. Boyden Gray (Clayland Boyden Gray), is a lawyer and lobbyist associated both with the conservative wing of the Republican Party in the USA, and with support of the tobacco industry. His family, for a couple of generations, have controlled the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company. His legal training has gained him positions of trust and influence in the George HW Bush White House and priof to that he served as a legal aide to Ronald Reagan., And his general lobbying ability has been expressed both through think-tanks; Citizens for a Sound Economy and Citizens for a Sound Environment; Institutions like the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis; and through his own lobbying firm Boyden Gray & Associates in Washington.

This is a split entry
For his dealings with the Tobacco Industry see Boyden Gray (Doc. Index)

Gray has also been instrumental in funding and directing the development of the pseudo-scientific discipline of Risk Analysis (which is little more than cost-benefit analysis with the cloak of confused terminology). He was behind the creation of the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis by John D Graham which, in turn. created a raft of Risk Analysis societies and institutes, all run by lobbyists for various industries. Backing for many of these activities appear to have come from the Koch Brothers who had funded Gray to create the federal legislation called the Comprehensive Regulatory Reform Act of 1995. This was an attempt to attack the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Justice Department which had filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit over oil spills at Koch-owned refineries.

Gray worked closely with the Koch's when he was on the board of Citizens for Sound Economy, which was founded in 1984 by Charles and David Koch. [11] and David Koch currently chairs the Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF). This was formerly known as the Citizens for a Sound Economy Educational Foundation, a prominent contributor to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which is, itself, largely funded by CKF and Koch Industries. [12]

Republican services and favors

In the District of Columbia, he is best known as a longtime DC lobbyist, a partner at Boyden Gray & Associates in Washington. He was also the former Ambassador to the European Union (2006-2007) and former Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy Diplomacy (2008-2009). He also served as former Special Envoy for European Union Affairs (2008-2009) and as White House Counsel in the administration of President George H.W. Bush (1989-1993). [1]

He was nominated February 10, 2006, by President George W. Bush to be Representative of the United States of America to the EU, with the rank and status of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. Gray replaced Rockwell A. Schnabel, who resigned. Mr. Gray served as U.S. Ambassador to the European Union in Brussels from 2006 to 2007.

Gray was last appointed January 17, 2006, to the same position by President Bush in a recess appointment. Previously, on July 25, 2005, Gray was nominated by President Bush to the same position. Gray's nomination was sent to the Senate July 25, 2005, and the status of his nomination remained pending.


Boyden co-chairs and serves on the board of FreedomWorks Foundation, that has close ties with the Tea Party Movement, which is led by Gray and former Majority Leader Dick Armey. [2]

Gray served as the Co-Chairman for Citizens for a Sound Economy which would later become Freedomworks and Americans for Prosperity. [3] Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) was a powerful industry-funded think tank, promoting deregulation. It was founded by Koch Industries interests and continues to maintain strong links. In 2003, an internal rift between CSE and its affiliated Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation led to a split in which CSEF was renamed as a separate organization, called Americans For Prosperity. In July 2004, CSE announced it was merging with Empower America to create FreedomWorks.

Gray formed the Committee for Justice in 2004 to push George W. Bush's judicial nominees. [4]

Political Contributions

Jon Huntsman

Gray donated $50,000 to Our Destiny PAC, a multimillion-dollar super PAC supporting 2012 Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. [5] Gray directly donated $2,500 to Huntsman's campaign with another $2,500 from his family members. [6] Huntsman has since withdrawn from the race and endorsed Mitt Romney. [7]

Scott Walker

Gray donated $25,000 to Scott Walker to fight an expected recall election in Wisconsin. Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, said Walker had raised more money from donors than any other candidate in state history. Walker raised an astounding $5,749,926.26 from out-of-state donors within five weeks. [8]

John Boehner

In 2011 Gray gave $7,400 (split between personal and family donation), to Boehner's Freedom Project, and $5,000 (split between a personal and family donation) directly to Boehner. [9]

Mitt Romney

In January 2012 Gray donated 2,500 to Romey after Jon Huntsman dropped out of the 2012 U.S. presidential race. [10]

Koch Connection

In 1995 the Kochs hired Gray, who had been counsel to George H.W. Bush and had worked in the Ronald Reagan administration before that, to write federal legislation called the Comprehensive Regulatory Reform Act of 1995. This came after the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard and Janet Reno's Justice Department filed a $54 million lawsuit against the Kochs over oil spills at Koch-owned refineries.

Gray worked closely with the Koch's when he was on the board of Citizens for Sound Economy, which was founded in 1984 by Charles and David Koch. [11] David Koch currently chairs the Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF), formerly known as the Citizens for a Sound Economy Educational Foundation, a prominent ALEC-contributor, largely funded by CKF and Koch Industries. [12]

Lobbying against REACH

In June 2006, the Wall Street Journal reported that a bill before the European Union that would require "manufacturers to test industrial chemicals used in the manufacturing process to gather health and safety data" had prompted an international lobbying effort, led by the U.S., "to make the final measure more amenable to industry." The legislation, which is expected to be finalized by the end of 2006, is called REACH, for "Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals." [1]

Referring to REACH, Ambassador Gray told the American Chamber of Commerce in Brussels, "We should not regulate if there is no harm to address and there is no benefit of safety to confer." Gray also complained to the Wall Street Journal that European policymakers "never did a proper impact assessment to evaluate the risk-versus-benefit status of this legislation." [2]

Harvard Center for Risk Analysis

The Harvard Group on Risk Management Reform (HGRMR)) was established in 1992. C. Boyden Gray, as Counsel in the Bush I Administration, began developing a presidential executive order (used to bypass Congress) to impose risk assessment requirements on the government regulatory agencies, thereby making it more difficult and costly to regulate against unsafe or environmentally unsound practices. He enlists John D. Graham as advisor. Action was defered until after the election campaign.

The Harvard Center for Risk Analysis (HCRA) was founded by John D. Graham in 1994 at request of Gray while Counsel to President to help developent of a new presidential order (in 1992), it aimed at bringing more scientific rigor and political accountability to the process of health, safety and environmental regulation.

With the assistance of Mr. Gray, HCRA received a grant from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation to convene the group. The goal of the HCRA was to devise a concrete set of recommendations that Congress and the President might consider in their deliberations about regulatory reform. [13]


"In a lengthy profile of Gray in 1997, The New Republic magazine wrote "So many different money trails lead to, by and through Gray it is bewildering." There is Gray the lobbyist, Gray the lawyer, Gray the former White House Counsel, Gray the chairman of Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE), Gray the head of the Alliance for Reasonable Regulation, Gray the co-chair of the Air Quality Standards Coalition, Gray the board member of Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, Gray the major soft money contributor to the Republican Party, Gray the friend of judges and justices (many of whom owe their jobs to him), to name but a few." [3]

Add to this the most recent of Gray's "organizations" and you come up with (see other links below) Gray, John D. Podesta and Timothy E. Wirth, connected by funding provided by R. E. Ted Turner in both the Energy Coalition Foundation (June 2003) and Energy Future Coalition (2002-3), Gray's newest media connection to Media General (May 2003), the Committee for the Republic (July 2003), and a continuous link to all things "Bush" and "corporate."

Nancy Cerrulo, Ocean Ridge, Florida, posted the following in the August 5, 2003, OPINION section of the Palm Beach Post:

"'Note Cohen's exposure of Gray, one to be feared': Richard Cohen's column about federal appellate judge nominee [to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals] [Alabama Attorney General] William H. Pryor, Jr. ('Advertising in bad faith,' Wednesday) mentioned the ubiquitous C. Boyden Gray, the corporate lobbyist, who has been very active in pushing President [George Walker] Bush's judicial nominees. Readers may remember him from the 2000 presidential brouhaha in this state.
"He was behind the recent ad that attempted to smear Democratic senators with the anti-Catholic brush. He was financially aided in that attempt by the first President Bush and the royal grandson, George P. Bush. They both helped raise money for this campaign.
"Mr. Gray has been extremely active in anti-environmental causes, was active in the anti-Clinton movement, and much more can be found if you do a Google search online for his name. He and Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, have teamed up against American citizens' well-being. This man should be feared; learn his name and remember it."

The March 13, 2000 issue of Business Week online provided an insight via a book review of John B. Judis's "The Paradox of American Democracy. Elites, Special Interests, and the Betrayal of Public Trust.":

"Even natural-born policy aristocrats such as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former White House counsel C. Boyden Gray, heir to the Reynolds tobacco fortune, have been co-opted, the author charges, presenting themselves as disinterested public servants while shilling for corporate clients. But Americans, who once trusted the elites to do right by them, have gotten wise to such shenanigans. The result: Public cynicism is at an all-time high.
"So when self-proclaimed visionaries such as liberal elitist Bill Clinton and conservative elitist Newt Gingrich arrive on the scene, their calls for revolution end in nothing gained. Voters no longer listen. Congress is paralyzed by special interests. The '90s will be remembered as 'a decade...in which the historical pretensions of political leaders far outweighed their actual achievements.'"

According to the Citizens for a Sound Economy web site, C. Boyden Gray, Chairman of CSE, "is a partner at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering where he focuses on a range of regulatory matters including, environmental, biotechnology, trade, clean air, and risk management. Gray served as counsel to George Herbert Walker Bush, during his terms as president and vice president. Gray also clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and earned his law degree from the University of North Carolina Law School."

A very interesting article ran in a July 1995 issue of The New York Times -- "On My Mind - $20 Billion Thriller - a limited hangout" by Council on Foreign Relations Member A.M. Rosenthal, which included the following:

"Members of the Council on Foreign Relations in the State Department and National Security Council planned a carefully prepared psycho-political operation to defraud the American public and enrich themselves and other Council on Foreign Relations members. It was planned and scripted by members of the Council on Foreign Relations in the state department, and on the National Security Council. This group has been carrying out similar psycho-political operations aimed at the American public since World War I.
"C. Boyden Gray is the son of Gordon Gray, a powerful Council of Foreign Relations member, now deceased. Upon graduating law school C. Boyden Gray joined Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. Many of the firms associates counsel different Government departments including the FBI and CIA. Lloyd N. Cutler counseled President James Earl Carter, Jr.; C. Boyden Gray counseled President Bush. Cutler, Carter, and Bush belong to the CFR. The OIC Iran-Contra report tells us about the character of Presidential Counsel Gray -- Gray and his colleagues advised Bush to lie.
"In 1993 Environmental Organizations sued to compel production of an environmental impact statement on NAFTA before it was submitted to Congress. William Jefferson Clinton sided with the Environmental Organizations. A law called The National Environmental Policy Act required an environmental impact study in major Federal Actions. The Environmental Organization won. The judge ordered the study.
"The group that lost was the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (OTR), an executive agency that advises the president. The OTR appealed. The Automobile Manufactures Association, had C. Boyden Gray file a friend of the court brief in behalf of the OTR. Gray used political connections, legal chicanery, weasel words and double talk. The OTR won the appeal. President Clinton and the American Citizen lost. NAFTA was 'fast-tracked' through congress, there was no impact study."

Mother Jones 400 Bio of C. Boyden Gray, April 1996:

"C. Boyden Gray ... Age: 53 State and Town Washington, D.C. ... Total Donated $98,044 ... Party R ... Lobbyist for Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, a firm specializing in environmental and regulatory risk management. He was White House counsel for President Bush, 1989-93. Critics claim he ghostwrote the weakened Clean Water Act for Sen. Bob Dole."

The following is a cache file from the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation web site (2001):

"Mr. Gray advises clients on all aspects of air pollution and was one of the principal architects of the 1991 Clean Air Act Amendments. In addition to his long involvement with clean fuels and reformulated gasoline, he has extensive experience with the use of market incentives to achieve environmental goals, and he is widely credited with having triggered the Clean Air Act acid rain emissions trading system and the use of market incentives in connection with the phaseout of CFCs under the Montreal Protocol. He has had extensive experience with new drug approval procedures at the FDA. He represents clients in connection with EPA, FDA, SEC, and other regulatory agencies and Congressional legislation affecting these organic statutes. He also has had extensive experience with legislative struggles at the federal level.
"Mr. Gray is a graduate of Harvard University (A.B. 1964, magna cum laude) and the University of North Carolina (J.D. 1968, first in class), where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the UNC Law Review. Following graduation from law school, he clerked for Chief Justice Earl Warren of the U.S. Supreme Court for a year. Mr. Gray joined WCP in 1969 and became a partner in 1976. In 1981, he left the firm to serve as Legal Counsel to Vice President George Bush. He also served as Counsel to the Presidential Task Force on Regulatory Relief, chaired by Vice President Bush. Mr. Gray later served as Director of the Office of Transition Counsel for the Bush transition team, and as Counsel to President Bush from 1989-1993. He returned to WCP in 1993.
"Mr. Gray currently served as Chairman of Citizens for a Sound Economy. In addition, he is a member of Harvard University's Committee on University Development, the Board of Trustees of the Washington Scholarship Fund, St. Mark's School, and National Cathedral School. He recently served on the Bush-Cheney Transition Department of Justice Advisory Committee. Mr. Gray is the recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal and the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the University of North Carolina Law School."

The Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. Executive Council's Corporate Connections: C. Boyden Gray

  • Professional
  • Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering, Partner
  • Citizens for a Sound Economy, Board Member
  • Clerk to Justice Earl Warren, U.S. Supreme Court, October Term, 1968
  • Council Member, Administrative Conference of the United States, 1993-1996
  • Counsel to the President of the United States, 1989-1993
  • Counsel to the Vice-President of the United States, 1981-1989
  • Business Profile
  • I. Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering
  • Defended a metals reclamation company in one of the federal government's first "multi-media" suits (RCRA, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act).
  • Represented clients in several significant federal criminal prosecutions under RCRA and the Clean Water Act.
  • Defended chemical manufacturers in administrative enforcement actions under TSCA.
  • Served as counsel to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Liability Fund in class action litigation arising out of the Exxon Valdez and American Trader oil spills.
  • Other principle areas include products liability, regulatory Law and toxic torts.
  • II. Counsel to the President of the United States
  • Gray was the chief architect of Bush Administration policies concerning regulatory issues.
  • III. Counsel to the Vice-President of the United States
  • Actively involved within the Administration on regulatory concerns.
  • IV. Citizens for a Sound Economy
  • "Think tank" that serves corporate lobbying interests though advertising, polling and research studies while maintaining the anonymity of its industry sponsors.


Note: Among the other members of the Atlantic Council Working Group (part of the ATUS "Program on Transatlantic Relations") for "Risk and Reward: U.S.-EU Regulatory Cooperation on Food Safety and the Environment" (November 2002) was William A. Nitze, of the Gemstar Group.

SourceWatch Resources

External Articles

  • Note: An internet search on C. Boyden Gray brings up an endless number of Clinton White House related articles in which Gray is the source for inuendo and rumors, most totally unfounded but provided nonetheless.

<tdo>search_term=C. Boyden Gray</tdo>


Gray, Boyden C.